Profile for Andrew Sutherland > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Andrew Sutherland
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,089
Helpful Votes: 656

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Andrew Sutherland "Sutho" (Surrey outposts)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
by Tom Rachman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsy and heft in equal measure, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers gestures with its titles at something world-historical but that’s ironic, I think. This is really a book at the micro level, about individual lives. In particular it’s about the life of central character Tooly Zylberberg, the book’s heroine. I must admit I was a little put off by her name at the outset, fearing something terribly wacky and whimsical... and sure enough there is whimsy here, but there's structural and emotional heft as well, evident from the gently melancholic tone in the opening passages... and so I kept at it... and I’m glad that I did. The novel is, structurally, a kind of triptych, in that we move between three distinct phases in Tooly’s life: her childhood in Bangkok, her coming of age in New York, and her present day as the owner of a Welsh bookshop, trying to piece together what made her the way she is. The three sections unfurl together, illustrating one the novel’s themes of the multifaceted nature of our lives and the things that time does to our identity. It's an extremely good novel and one that I didn't want to end which is about as big a compliment as I can pay any novel.


Glow
Glow
by Ned Beauman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

3.0 out of 5 stars A not very good novel that's very well written, 14 April 2015
This review is from: Glow (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I rather liked The Teleportation Accident, Ned Beauman's last novel. It was cleverly plotted and stupendously well-written. Beauman's mastery of language is in evidence here, too… in spades. In fact, on a line-by-line purely aesthetic basis, he’s hard to beat. Check out this description of the moon as a "silver pill half dissolved on the tongue of the night". But as a novel… this is all over the place! Beauman seems more concerned with showcasing his brilliant facility with language than with the small matters of plot and character: the former manages to feel both intricate and flabby… there’s lots of dialogue 'padding' required to keep the plotting alive; the latter are horribly under-developed – their motivations nondescript. It’s another spectacularly well written book but very difficult to engage with or care about.


The Sun is God
The Sun is God
by Adrian McKinty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Sun worship, coconuts, heroin... and murder!, 14 April 2015
This review is from: The Sun is God (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A detective novel with a difference: this historical thriller is based on the bizarre-but-true story of the 'Sonnenorden' – a South Pacific sect founded by the German health reformer August Engelhardt, who believed that enlightenment could be achieved through naked sun worship and a diet of coconuts and heroin. You read me right! Anyway it’s 1906, and our protagonist –a former military policeman– is helping the German police investigate the death of one of Engelhardt's followers. Cue a really rather gripping murder mystery that would stand apart from most other detective fiction anyway given the quality of writing, but even more so thanks to the richly described background of pure colonial weirdness that it's set against.


Reasons She Goes to the Woods
Reasons She Goes to the Woods
by Deborah Kay Davies
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A highly original, complex portrait of growing-up, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This ‘novel’ is immediately notable in that it plays out as a series of discrete one-page episodes instead of chapters 'proper'… a sequential run of little vignettes, each detailing the experiences that make up the heroine Pearl’s childhood. Taken together, this is the story of her chaotic journey towards adolescence, told out in a series of miniatures. This approach works because Pearl is a difficult child to say the least… occasionally very nasty, psychotic perhaps (the reader is left to decide)… and her life story suits being depicted disjointed ‘episodes’ because they somehow capture the vividness of her behaviours. But the solitary-page approach also feels fragmented at times, because it’s a fairly restrictive way of telling a fulsome story, especially given the weighty subject matter at the heart of the book: the amorality of children in their nascent sexuality. Engrossing nevertheless, and the end result is a highly original, complex portrait of growing-up.


The Girl With A Clock For A Heart
The Girl With A Clock For A Heart
by Peter Swanson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable nonsense... and I mean that as a compliment, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Read it in one sitting: surely the mark of a capable thriller. The plot’s a bit preposterous but the ride is pure fun: middle-aged protagonist George Foss has spent the last 20 years having visions of his old college sweetheart, his first love, who died – or so he thought – two decades ago. Then one night he does actually see her… and she’s in dire straits and asking for his help to stash stolen money and make good with those out to get her. The novel weaves together two timelines: George at college, falling for and then grieving for a woman he thinks has killed herself, and then George in the present, spotting her in a bar and being drawn into her femme fatale world of stolen identities, hapless chap that he is. Swanson's writing is beautifully measured and the book is chock-full of cliff-hangers. Thoroughly enjoyable nonsense in the best possible sense.


Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £10.47

5.0 out of 5 stars A bathroom essential for eliminating shower mould, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We get a line of dark mildew/mould along the top edge of our tiles in our shower that regular multi-purpose sprays don’t eliminate… this stuff does. Spray the area, wait a few mins and shower off… no real scrubbing required. Contains bleach and so smells a bit but personally that doesn’t bother me.


Philips BRT381/15 BikiniGenie Trimmer
Philips BRT381/15 BikiniGenie Trimmer
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent little trimmer but does nick delicate skin unless the trimming comb is on, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Full disclosure: I am a bloke. But there's really nothing about this device that precludes its use by males, even if it is small and pink. Perfect for trimming one’s sideburns, in fact… among other things. It runs off a single AA battery and works in both wet and dry, hence operable in the shower and the device can be rinsed clean afterwards. The integrated trimmer head trims hair down to 0.5 mm, but it requires a steady hand if you want a totally uniform length, so results can look ‘patchy’ unless you use the clip-on trimming comb, which gives a uniform 3 mm grade. Take the comb off where you want to define boundary lines. Importantly, without the clip-on head, I found that the device does, despite what it says, nick more delicate skin, although it’s fine in most areas. With the trimmer clip-on trimming comb in place, it doesn’t go so close, and there’s no risk of nicking at all. Ultimately, you judge things against the price tag, and for £20, this strikes me as a pretty good little trimmer.


Philips Sonicare HX9351/04 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Black
Philips Sonicare HX9351/04 DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush Black
Price: £99.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If James Bond had a tooth brush..., 27 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
... then this would surely be it. A quite ridiculously over-stylized bit of kit with its matte black finish, charging 'tumbler', carry case etc. A bit ridiculous really. That's the first thing you notice. The second is the noise! This is surely the noisiest toothbrush imaginable – far noisier than an electric shaver, say. I’m not exaggerating; it’s so noisy that I cannot use it in the bathroom first thing without disturbing anyone still asleep in the adjacent bedrooms. But the reason it's noisy, I suppose, is also this toothbrush’s trump card, given the sheer volume of power it delivers, which is really quite something... and it does leave your teeth feeling about as clean and polished as you could hope for from an electric toothbrush.


Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Price: £6.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing pre-soak stain removal results, 27 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You can use this stuff 3 ways... 1) add a scoop into the detergent drawer; 2) apply it neat to the stain before washing, or 3) pre-soak clothes in a solution made up with it for a few hours before washing.... I've had variable results using methods 1 and 2 but am happy to report absolutely stunning results using method 3; the pre-soak. I put my son's badly-stained white cotton t-shirt which was covered in in dried on bolognaise sauce stains (that had never previously washed out) in a washing-up bowl full of water plus a scoop of this stuff, left it overnight, washed it at 40 and it came out good as new. Absolutely the definition of stubborn stains, totally gone. I've been less impressed using methods 1 and 2, but can absolutely recommend it for pre-soaking stained whites.


Finish All in One Max Lemon Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)
Finish All in One Max Lemon Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... but not *twice* as excellent as Finish All In 1s, 30 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wouldn't buy any brand of dishwasher tablets other than Finish - I've tried many others over the years and they never compare. Having said that, I'm not convinced these ones - All In 1 Max - are all that much better than the regular "Finish All In 1" which I normally use and which are half the price £10 for x78 rather than £20 for x74... i.e. 15p per tablet cheaper)... I won't be switching, purely for price reasons. But these are excellent nevertheless and perhaps they are marginally better - wine glasses do seem a bit less prone to streaks I think - but not so much it's super-obvious to me (although I nearly always use the Eco setting... maybe for longer, hotter cycles these come into their own?). The only really obvious difference is that these ones aren't individually wrapped... which, to me, isn't worth an extra 15p a go.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20